Step Right Up and Be Validated As Art
Dear Family and/or Friends and/or Random Acquaintances and/or Twitter Followers and/or Random Strangers:
Please stop asking me my opinion about Roger Ebert’s post about videogames and wether they (have, do, or will ever) constitute “art”. I understand given my occupation, hobbies, educational background, and unabashed love of pedantic petty argument that I would be a likely candidate for strong feelings on this topic – but I tried to avoid for three reasons:
One: I presume folks were looking for fiery counter-argument, and lots of thoughtful writers with much closer ties to gaming have already done that. That last article by Kotaku’s Brian Ashcraft was, perhaps, the most interesting to me personally given Brian’s background.
Two: At it’s core this is a debate about terms, and anyone who has actively engaged in debate as an abstract pursuit will tell you, “term haggling” is the last refuge of someone who doesn’t care about the issue. Read more
Content has, indeed, been pretty light lately – mostly because what’s been occupying my time for the last couple months doesn’t really lend itself to discussion. If you think comic writers and artists get frustrated when wanting to discuss work with months of lead time, imagine my frustration when there’s a chance some of the seeds currently being planted will pay off next year. Maybe.
However, I am… slowly… starting to warm to the whole Twitter thing, thus cementing my reign as “that guy who alternates between being way ahead of, and way behind, the curve.” It turns out that the excellent Tweetie client was the tipping point, if you’ve found it equally hard to get into this tweet-business. I’m going to look at embedding a twitter widget here as soon as I get a chance – but I will warn in advance my tweeting is pretty asinine (irreverent if you’re charitable).
So – given that I’ve just returned from a Beantown roadtrip, that included (amongst other things) a visit to Ye old PAX East, and that people seem interested in my thoughts on the same I present one of those grand traditions of lazy blog-posts since time immemorial – THE NUMBERED LIST:
Best Five Surprises in Boston Over the Weekend:
Professor Christopher Ferguson, writing for the Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling confirms what many of us have suspected all along: despite decades of data there no significant link between playing violent videogames and school shootings. There is also no significant link between being an altar boy and school shootings, bowling and school shootings , or Bob Geldof and school shootings. Is anyone else surprised that this discussion is still going on, even given that horrific acts of school gun-violence far pre-date the invention of the videogame?
“It has been observed that a small group of researchers have been most vocal in promoting the anti-game message, oftentimes ignoring research from other researchers, or failing to disclose problems with their own research. As some researchers have staked their professional reputation on anti-game activism, it may be difficult for these researchers to maintain scientific objectivity regarding the subject of their study.”
The article is most interesting for some of the fairly pointed criticism that Ferguson directs to those who have conducted studies over the previous decade noting, among other things, that it may be easier to get grants to search for negative results.
Like news coverage, even in academia it looks like the “shock headline” is what, ultimately, pays the bills.
A completely captivating story about the president-elect and his first family on the eve of his historic inauguration.
Intrigue! Mistyque! Secret service agents “as big as boulders”! Missing Nintendo DS(es)! Leapfrog! Iraqi policy debate!
Not only is the story entirely charming, but anyone with kids (or who has spent any time with kids) tasked with hunting down missing items can relate… well played, sir.
“I saw that the office was really shaped like an oval!” via Kotaku
(Very cool custom DS-Lite by Shepard Fairey)
I don’t have a lot of
insightful, funny, lengthy stuff to post, but rather a bunch of odds and ends that don’t lend themselves to lengthy discourse… hence – fear my braindump:
I may never be as clever or as popular as Tim Schaefer. I may never be a suave video game designer, with my own crack team of geniuses working on some of the most critically lauded videogames of all time.
But at least my house doesn’t smell like cat-pee covered consumer electronics.
Also, Tim now has a daughter or something. Congratulations!
But mostly I wanted to bring your attention to the cat pee thing.
Because if Tim Schaefer and a freaking ROBOT isn’t enough raw awesomesauce to prevent having to live surrounded with raw animal waste – there is absolutely no hope for the rest of us.